goldielocks is not welcome in the recording industry
i got straight A's in audio school, and while i secretly feel that the experience i've had since then is actually the part that made me good at what i do, i should still be able to stand next to my framed degree and earn money, right? what's that? you're buddy just got a cracked copy of cuebase and a couple of microphones? so unless i have a 64 channel console and a secretary i'm the same as a beginner?
i read dozens of articles about audio and the recording industry weekly, but this week one stuck out. Charles Szczepanek wrote for theproaudiofiles.com Setting Studio Rates 101
[read that and come back to me]
this is a topic i've had on my brain for a while and Charles' thoughts echoed pretty exactly what i'd been thinking about it. i pay attention to new local music and much of it is very, very good. sadly most of the recordings i hear from locals aren't well produced at all and the music suffers. these might be great songs, but they face an uphill battle for the admiration of the listener. now and then i come across a recording that sounds better than i think i could do. every example was recorded by somebody great, charging premium studio prices.
in the past i've looked around at studios and how other recordists are pricing themselves. "my recordings sound good, but i don't have quite the expensive gear so i should charge a little bit less"
after reading this article i feel like maybe i should raise it up to $40 p/hour. is this what it takes to set me apart from your buddy with cubase on his macbook? is there no place for mid level producers? i know i'm not a big shot but i surely am not competing with beginners.
so what's my value?... i think artists should choose me to produce their recording if they like my style. if they want a clean, hollywood-polish sound they're better off going to an expensive studio that turns out mixes like that. if they don't care about (or don't notice) the difference between my work and a garage band demo, they shouldn't spend a penny. but if they like warm, organic, maybe a little raw but definitely natural records, maybe i'm just right.